Gluten Free Travel

We are proud to have been the very first website devoted to giving the gluten free community a forum to search and submit reviews of gluten-free friendly dining venues. We launched GlutenFreeTravelSite way back in April 2008 -- almost 11 years ago -- when "gluten free" wasn't yet a household term. There was a bit of education to do, both with the public and with restaurants. Our database has grown tremendously, and searching is even easier than ever. Simply enter a town or zip code into the search box on the Search/Mapping page of our site, and you'll get a list of places that have been reviewed, alongside a map with all the venues plotted. Click on any restaurant in the listing -- or zoom in to click a marker on the map -- to read the review(s). You'll find hundreds of places in the big cities...and at least a dozen or more gluten-free friendly venues reviewed in most smaller cities. We have places reviewed not just in the U.S., but all over the world! It is amazing to see where reviews come in from! If you prefer to do a broad search on our site -- for example, by... Read more →


Ireland has always been a popular destination for travelers. And it's no wonder. There is a rich history to explore, as well as natural beauty almost everywhere you turn. In fact, you've probably heard of the Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry. But imagine how spectacular it would be to see them in person. And if you're a fan of medieval towns and castles, Ireland is not to be missed. There are even ancient stone circles and other interesting ruins to explore. Fortunately for all of us, Ireland is the "gold standard" of gluten free travel, as they have a higher than average rate of Celiac disease in their population...and therefore are knowledgeable and careful about keeping gluten free diners safe. But if you're just too busy with your day-to-day work and family responsibilities to plan a trip to Ireland on your own (who isn't?!), you may want to consider enlisting the help of Ellen Morse, a gluten free travel specialist with literally DECADES of experience in both the travel industry AND as a gluten free traveler herself. There is no one better to plan a trip to Ireland on your behalf! The way Ellen typically works with... Read more →


Italy and London remain two of the most popular travel destinations. And the great news is that BOTH countries can be easily enjoyed, even if you're on a gluten free diet due to medical reasons (Celiac or gluten sensitivity). In fact, I found that both destinations are, in many ways, easier than the U.S. in terms of the level of knowledge for preparing safe, gluten free meals. They take gluten free diners seriously, as everyone should. Now, don't get me wrong...that doesn't mean you can eat anywhere. No, there's a lot of planning that needs to go into any trip to either Italy or London if you're gluten free. That is, you'll want advice and feedback on the BEST places to dine in each destination. That means figuring out which restaurants not only accommodate gluten free diners, but allow you to enjoy the specialties of the region. You'll want to dine at the restaurants that really go out of their way to WOW you with options like gluten free afternoon tea service (in London, of course) or gluten free Neapolitan pizza, homemade GF pasta, or gluten free tiramisu in Italy. (You don't want to settle for simple grilled meat and... Read more →


For quite some time now, I've been impressed with the level of gluten free knowledge in New Zealand. Like Australia, its larger neighbor to the west, New Zealand seems to be pretty high on the GF learning curve and offers a decent number of places to dine if you're gluten free. Of course, this is easiest when you're in the heart of one of the major towns of New Zealand Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch. (You can do a quick search of those towns -- and others -- by entering their name in the Search box on this page of our website.) When you do some of the more picturesque and remote sightseeing, it's obviously a bit tougher! That's why Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us set to work planning an itinerary for her gluten free clients interested in visiting New Zealand. She wanted them to be able to see all the highlights -- and even make a stop for a few days of R&R in French Polynesia -- without worrying about how they could stay safely gluten free. As always, Ellen has planned a first-rate trip and vetted the hotels where you'll stay -- and the tour companies and guides... Read more →


In addition to searching reviews on our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, for informative first-hand travel and dining feedback from others on gluten free diets, it's a good idea to contact a support group in the area you plan to travel. Many times they will be able to provide you with a list of Celiac-friendly restaurants and grocery stores that offer gluten free foods. Here's a list of the well-known Celiac associations, both in the U.S. and worldwide...their websites have contact information and often list support groups/chapters. National Celiac Association: Incorporating the former Celiac Support Association, NCA provides educational materials, works with industry and the government to improve labeling practices, and offers a Recognition Seal certifying products as Gluten Free. Beyond Celiac: In addition to promoting awareness and having numerous valuable resources for Celiacs on their site, this U.S.-based foundation has a very helpful list of Celiac Disease support groups around the world. Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG): They are involved in advocacy as well as GF certification and accredidation for products, food services, and restaurants. They include contact information for their local chapters in the United States. Canadian Celiac Association (CCA): Provides information on sources of gluten free food, fosters research, and encourages... Read more →


In today's do-it-yourself world, many people don't see a need for help with planning a trip. They figure they can hop online and book something on their own. However, there are a few potential pitfalls with this strategy. Let's start with the most obvious: it can take a while to gather the information you need before making a decision. You may sit down at your computer, only to find that, hours later, you're overwhelmed with the choices and no further along in making a decision. Another pitfall is that booking hotels, resorts, and apartments site unseen can often result in disappointment, even if you read online reviews. And beware that deals that sound too good to be true usually are. A promotion from a reputable hotel chain to a popular tropical locale that was offered to my mother last year sounded like a great deal. However, upon further digging, we found out that it was in a less-than-desirable area of the popular resort town -- and the resort itself was under major renovation, with construction equipment everywhere. Good thing we did our research, because if we had booked this trip, it likely would have been a disaster. The whole experience... Read more →


Fortunately, over the past 10 years, it's gotten a bit easier to request a gluten free meal on an airline. I don't like to count on getting it -- or putting too much faith in the airline getting it completely right. So we always make sure our son packs a fair number of back-up snacks for the flight, especially if it's more than a couple hours long. (Plus, you never know when your flight may be delayed from taking off for several hours...that's happened to us twice...once by about 5 hours and once until the next day!) But it is nice when it all comes together and you can get a decent (and safely gluten free) meal on a plane. I always check the policy of the airline and then either put the notation in the system when booking the flight -- or call the airline directly to make the request. It doesn't hurt to do both -- and confirm about a week before the flight that they have the information correct. Here is a list (by no means exhaustive, I am sure) of some major airlines and their policies (or lack of) for offering gluten free meals, along with... Read more →


Some Celiac and gluten sensitive individuals get spooked thinking about travel. In fact, some of you may avoid travel at all costs. You may be concerned about the safety of meals you'll eat -- and have a hard time trusting that people who will be making your meals three times per day know what they are doing! Others of you may travel...but prefer to stick with domestic locales. To be sure, having a language barrier -- and being unsure of a country's knowledge of the intricacies of a gluten free diet -- can be daunting. While each one of us needs to work within our own comfort zone, I will say that there are so many resources available today to help ensure that you'll have a good chance of success staying gluten free almost anywhere you travel. Of course, it takes a bit of planning, but that's where you can also get help. Ellen Morse, who you have heard me talk about before, is a travel specialist with decades of experience planning trips for both domestic and international clients. Plus, she has been both gluten free AND dairy free herself since childhood. Here is someone who will take your concerns... Read more →


Although I have some ancestors from Sicily, I really don't know much about that part of Italy. My travels thus far have focused on what I call the "big three:" Rome, Florence, and Venice -- and a lovely week in the region of Umbria in central Italy. What I didn't know until recently is that Sicily is where the Italians themselves vacation! This is due to its wonderful climate, gorgeous beaches, and legendary food. In fact, Sicily is where Italy likely gets its reputation as a culinary dream. Since it has been at the geographical crossroads of so many different cultures over the millennia, it has blended influences into what most agree is exceptional cuisine. This is where southern Italian dishes that many American Italians grew up on originated. For example, "red gravy" (tomato sauce) has its origins here. And, as in most areas of Italy, you'll be able to find gluten free pasta offered as an option in many restaurants. Much of the food in Sicily is farm to table, so there is a freshness and quality that you don't always find in other locations. For gluten free travelers, Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us makes it even easier... Read more →


Unless you're a skier, you might be surprised to hear that Switzerland makes a great destination ANY time of the year, even in the Winter. While Summer offers the most comfortable temperatures, it can also be the most crowded, with Summer tourism affecting popular sites (but, of course, that's no different than in other places in Europe!). You may want to consider a trip in the Fall or Spring, when the cooler weather is crisp but pleasant -- and you'll encounter fewer crowds. Of course, Winter sports enthusiasts will love the colder months when they can enjoy Alpine activities. And gluten free travelers will be thrilled to learn that travel agent Ellen Morse, who is Celiac herself and provides customized travel itineraries for gluten free travelers (as well as travelers without dietary restrictions), has recently created an itinerary for a 7-night trip to Switzerland. Please note: This is NOT a group tour. You can take this trip at any time you like and with whomever you like. The suggested itinerary, which Ellen can help you customize for your own specific interests, covers three perennial favorite spots: Zurich, Lucerne, and Interlaken. These towns will give you a true taste of Switzerland's... Read more →


You've heard me talk about Italy a lot on this Blog. It's both because it's my personal favorite destination...as well as one that seems to be on top of most people's travel lists. It's no wonder, given the beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and noteworthy art and architecture. And, oh, the food and wine isn't too bad either! Speaking of which, Italy also happens to be the most gluten-free friendly place our family has ever visited. Of course, I wouldn't recommend just booking a plane ticket and winging it! No, you really need to do your research before going if you want to have the optimal experience, especially when it comes to dining on the best gluten free specialties. Delicious (and safe) gluten free pizza, pasta, bruschetta, crepes, gelato, pastries, and more can be found in both the big cities -- and even in the smaller, quaint towns that are off-the-beaten-path. But you have to do your research on sites like our GlutenFreeTravelSite to find them. I also wrote an e-book, available on Amazon, called Gluten-Free in ITALY: Your Worry-Free and Gluten-Free Guide to Italy. It's perfect if you don't have much time to research or plan a trip yourself --... Read more →


Last week I posted about a tour of Puglia, Italy being organized by classically trained chef and yoga instructor Janice Veech (the "GoYogi Chef"), who is gluten free herself. Today I want to share another small group tour she is organizing in Italy. The dates for this Umbria small group tour to central Italy are October 12-19, 2019 (note the change of date from 2018 to 2019). Umbria is similar to Tuscany...full of rolling hills, medieval hilltop towns, vineyards, olive groves, and rich history. But it's still a bit less touristy than Tuscany has become. You'll enjoy a more "authentic" side of Italy, a far cry from the crowds of larger cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice. The itinerary is exactly the same as the tour I accompanied Janice on last October, and let me tell you, it was amazing...one of the best trips I've ever taken. (This photo of Janice and me in the hat, along with another lady from our group, was taken at the wall in Orvieto). Our trip was the perfect balance of history and a few tours, leisurely meals with local wines and wonderful food, and immersing ourselves in this less-traveled side of Italy. And... Read more →